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Friday, December 17, 2010

Iron Sky



Towards the end of World War II the Nazi scientists made a significant breakthrough in anti-gravity. From a secret base built in the Antarctic, the first Nazi spaceships were launched in late ‘45 to found the military base Schwarze Sonne (Black Sun) on the dark side of the Moon. This base was to build a powerful invasion fleet and return to take over the Earth once the time was right.

Now it’s 2018, and it’s the time for the first American Moon landing since the 70’s. Meanwhile the Nazi invasion, that has been over 70 years in the making, is on its way, and the world is goose-stepping towards its doom. The three main characters of the story are Renate Richter (Julia Dietze), Klaus Adler (Götz Otto), and James Washington (Christopher Kirby).

Iron Sky

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cunnamulla



Director Dennis O'Rourke
Running time 82 minutes
Country Australia
Year 2000
Associated shops

Reviewed by Rishika

If you hold a romanticised view of life in sunny Australia, Dennis O'Rourke's Cunnamulla might prove an eye-opener, but for the rest of us it holds little that is revelatory.

O'Rourke takes his camera to small-town Cunnamulla at the end of the railway line in the state of Queensland, Australia. As Neredah, the chain-smoking wife of taxi driver Arthur, keeps telling us, life at the "end of the line" feels just like that, a dead-end. Teenage girls turn early to sex and alcohol as their only forms of entertainment, whilst young Aboriginal men such as Paul turn to theft in a predictable cycle of poverty and hopelessness. The older generation gossips, gambles, and listens to country music.

As a small-town veteran who has succeeded in his profession, O'Rourke walks the line between insider and outsider, opening a window on the lives of the ordinary people who seem so willing to share their stories with him. The problem with this film, however, is that there seems to be not much to tell past a repetitive set of complaints about life in the town, and O'Rourke, with his hands-off approach, doesn't do much to push through the surface of the story.

For instance, the film makes only a perfunctory effort to portray the Aboriginal peoples of the town, largely through the representative testimony of Paul, who's likely heading to jail for his petty crime. A few snippets of other Aboriginal peoples provide little in the way of balance to Paul's monologue or popular stereotypes, and cast little insight on the segregated life of the town.

Likewise, the lives of Herb, the eccentric scrap merchant, Cara the teenage dropout, or Marto the town DJ and rebel, remain opaque to the viewer, unilluminated by any context to the lopsided interviews; how did these people end up in Cunnamulla? Who makes up the rest of their family? O'Rourke largely edits out his own questions that elicit the talking-head monologues that make up most of the film, creating an impression of realism when in fact what we are given is a snapshot of lives cut off from history-either their own, or the region's.

Study Notes Here